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Weather Forecast: Widespread smoke and haze continues

Posted at 5:32 AM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 07:32:36-04

MISSOULA — Dry and smoky conditions will be present over the northern Rockies through Thursday. The smoke as become so thick that afternoon temperatures will be suppressed by 10-15 degrees below what a non-smoky atmosphere would produce. High temperatures through Thursday will top out in the 70s to low 80s.

It looks like the smoke and haze will begin to clear by Friday as a low pressure system and cold front approach the region. Highs will remain in the 70s and 80s Friday with a few showers possible by the afternoon.

The most widespread rain looks to move in Saturday. Now this will not be a major system, however, all of western Montana will have the chance to see rain showers along with cooler temperatures. Highs Saturday will top out in the 60s.

A few showers could linger into Sunday, however, the precipitation over the weekend looks to only briefly relieve us from the smoke and haze. By the start of next week, models are showing warm/dry high pressure once again building over the western half of the US. And this time of year, the lowering sun angle for September is generally not conducive for lifting wildfire smoke out of the valleys. So, smoke can settle into valleys and stay in place until the next cold front, which as of now appears over a week away.